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Justice Department Files to Block Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Simon and Schuster

The Justice Department filed a complaint in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to block Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster.  Penguin Random House is the largest book publisher in the world and Simon & Shuster is the fourth largest publisher.  Penguin Random House is a subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE and is based in New York City.  Penguin Random House’s...

Episode 213 — How to Structure and Implement an ESG Program

As companies focus more on ESG, it is obvious that companies will achieve a significant number of benefits beyond that defined in the ESG acronym.  A well-designed and tailored program will bring significant benefits to the overall company’s operations. There are a number of important issues that design and implementation of an ESG program entail.  It is hard to fill in many of the important...

Ransomware and OFAC Sanctions Compliance

We have all read about the high-profile malicious cyber-attacks and ransomware demands and payments.  The Colonial Pipeline case demonstrated how responsive law enforcement can be in tracking down perpetrators and recovering ransom payments.  The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) has a vested interest in this enforcement arena.  On September 21, 2021, OFAC issued an updated ransomware advisory on the topic (“Updated Advisory”)....

Keeping Track of Third Party Risks – Bribery and Sanctions

We have heard it over and over, again and again – third-parties pose significant risks of bribery for all global businesses.  Almost every FCPA enforcement action includes some form of third-party misconduct.  The current picture from the Stanford FCPA Resource confirms the story. A cottage industry of automated platforms, data analytics, due diligence and monitoring strategies have grown around third-party bribery risk.  Companies have designed...

Here Comes DOJ – Corporate Crime Enforcement

Sorry to repeat myself (sorry, but inevitable in my maintaining this blog for 9 years), but the Justice Department, like other enforcement agencies, will tell everyone what they plan to do and then do it.  Not on individual investigations, but in enforcement priorities, strategies and resources.  Lisa Monaco, the Deputy Attorney General (No. 2 in DOJ), delivered an important speech at the National Institute of...

Basic Operational ESG Program Issues (Part III of III)

A supervising ESG Committee has to resolve several basic questions in order to build out its ESG program. What are the company’s ESG risks? How is the company’s ESG program tailored to its ESG risk profile? What kind of information are investors, shareholders and stakeholders demanding as part of a disclosure framework? How will the company collect, assess, and monitor relevant data, and the disclose...

Episode 212: DOJ Returns Indictment Against Former Boeing Chief Technical Pilot in 737 MAX Safety Scandal

The Justice Department announced the indictment of Mark Forkner, a former Chief Technical Pilot for Boeing for his role in the 737 MAX scandal. Specifically, Forkner is charged with deceiving the FAA’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (“FAA AEG”) relating to Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane and defrauding Boeings U.S.-based airline customers to earn millions of dollars for Boeing. Boeing’s 737 MAX scandal is tragic and disturbing. In January...

Building an ESG Structure and Program (Part II of III)

Investor demand for companies to provide robust and transparent ESG information is growing quickly.  Investors understand that companies have to develop effective strategies to address ESG risks.  The impact on shareholder price is evident – stakeholders are demanding that companies devote time and attention to ESG issues.  Companies have to respond to this demand. Government regulators are quickly pushing the ESG movement. The European Commission...

Implementing ESG Programs: Structure and Responsibilities (Part I of III)

ESG – the initials that are transforming corporate missions, purposes and structures, fueled by stakeholder and investor demand.  It is a significant moment in corporate and stakeholder interactions.  Companies recognize the responsibilities but even more importantly, the opportunities, to build a sustainable and financially profitable organization. But there are significant changes that have to occur along with the ESG objective.  I am dubious about the...

various cryptocurrency on table

Takeaways from OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance Guidance for Virtual Assets and Cryptocurrency

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, joins us for a post on sanctions compliance in the cryptocurrency industry. Matt can be contacted at MStankiewicz@volkovlaw.com. In early October, OFAC released a guidance brochure on sanctions compliance, specifically tailored for the cryptocurrency and virtual assets industry.  For seasoned compliance veterans, it ends up reading like a refresher course for sanctions compliance.  While the guidance was...